It would be fait to say that, while she may have been making music for some years, there's a dearth of information about the L.A.-based Hart on the web, indeed she doesn't even have her own website, just a Facebook page. What I have gleaned is that she was born in Providence R.I. and raised in Greenwich Village, is the granddaughter of John Gilbert and Leatrice Joy, who were minor Hollywood stars around the 1920s that she used to knock around with Cohen and Tim Buckley and recorded her debut album, 'Breathe', with Hal Blaine back in 1996.
This is her second and should sit well with those whose collections include the likes of Judy Collins, Carole King, Janis Ian, Wendy Waldman and similar 70s female singer-songwriters. Opening with the tango-like feel of 'Might As Well Be Magic', it reveals Hart to have a breathily war and softly smoky voice with a slightly tremulousness to it, the album proceeding to glide smoothly through a retro mixture of country (the twangysome guitar 'Desert Angel'), rockabilly (the bouncy title track), blues ('When Twilight Falls', on which she plays harmonica while Jim Keltner provides drums) and sleepy, brushed snare jazz ( 'If I Don't Love You',' Like Minded') flavours
It may only be her second album, but you can hear years of experience in its assured ease and confidence and it's easy to imagine her having live audiences under her spell. And, while the songs may all concern love to lesser or greater extent, she's a gifted writer too with a knack for a memorable line as well as a hummable melody. With a highly accomplished set of musicians, most notably Chad Watson handling bass, mandolin and classical acoustic, Vern Monett on electric guitars and Don Heffington providing most of the drums, none of the twelve tracks feel remotely like padding. Everything is quality, but particular stands out would have to include the Texicali flavoured baritone guitar and trombone coloured waltzer 'In The Wilderness' (which I could hear Nanci Griffith doing), the honky tonk triple two step 'Classic White Car 'with JT Thomas on saloon piano and the twilight time air of the lovely, Watson-penned 'Lonely Road' which is perhaps best described as sounding like the McGarrigles meet Prairie Home Companion.
Having managed to track down and listen to her debut, I really do encourage you to seek her out as a talent like this should have a far bigger profile and wide audience. Maybe then it won't be another ten years before the next album.
|Paul Menel & the Essentials: Spare Parts For A Broken Heart||Beth Bombara: Map & No Direction|
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